Room Refresh: Lighten Up a Living Room with a Painted Fireplace

It's easy to get bored with the room you live in day in and day out, but definitely don't settle. We gave this living room in suburban New Jersey a simple refresh -- all for under $150! We painted the brick fireplace white (hello, instant update!) and covered the out-of-place sofa to transform the room into a bright and modern space, perfect for entertaining friends. Here's our step-by-step guide, so you can do it too.


This living room has some great details—the distressed rug, trunk, fireplace screen and corner chair to start. The issue? The details fall flat, especially the gold fireplace screen, which disappears against the red brick.

What You'll Need:

  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • 1.5" angled paint brush
  • 3" roller brush
  • Disposable paint tray
  • 1 quart latex-based primer
  • 1 quart VOC-free paint
  • Sofa slip-cover (optional)


Step 1: Using painter's tape and a plastic drop cloth, mark off the edges to ensure that no paint makes its way onto surfaces that you don't plan to paint.


Step 2: When painting brick, prep the surface with a latex-based primer. We chose one that also was VOC-free to avoid breathing in harmful fumes. Allow the primer to dry for one hour before applying the first layer of paint.

Step 3: Using an angled 1.5-inch brush, begin painting the grout, edges and any hard-to-reach places. Then, use a 3-inch paint roller to apply your first layer of paint to the surface. Wait one to two hours before applying your next layer, then repeat. (We used Behr's Whisper White in a matte finish.)


Step 4: Remove the painter's tape and tarp. Tip: We used fans to help speed up the drying process.


Step 5: Stage the room as desired and voila, you have a new room! Tip: We also used an affordable canvas sofa cover from Sure Fit to transform the room into a scene of an all-neutrals. A pop of color is added with pillows and tabletop accessories.


Tip: Too-small (for the wall) framed photographs were removed from the walls and arranged on the mantle for a more collected look.

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